Book Club Pick: June 2015
Title: Paper Towns
Author: John Green
Series: Stand alone novel
Country: United States of America
Publisher: Dutton Children’s Books
First Published: 2008
The prologue to the novel opens with our protagonist Quentin “Q” Jacobsen recalling an incident from when he was nine-years-old; when he and his neighbour and childhood friend Margo Roth Spiegelman found the body of Robert Joyner, who had committed suicide.
The novel flashes forward, Quentin is now a senior in high school and like many childhood friends he and Margo have drifted apart. It is a month before his graduation, when in the middle of the night, Margo shows up at his bedroom window with a plan to seek revenge on those she feels have wronged her.
After their night of revenge on classmates who have wronged them the duo break into theme park SeaWorld.
The next day at school Quentin wonders if he and Margo will reconnect. Margo does not come to school that day or the next. After three days her parents file a police report. As Quentin was the last person to see Margo he is questioned by police.
Quentin learns that Margo has run away multiple times before and that her parents now seem to be beyond caring – her mother plans to change the locks. The police point out she is not a minor and that she left on her on accord.
When looking at Margo’s window Quentin notices a poster of musician Woody Guthrie taped to back of her window shade. Quentin enlists the help of his best friends Ben and Radar and they bribe Margo’s younger sister to let them search her room. This search leads them to Guthrie’s song ‘Walt Wiltman’s Niece’, which leads them to a collection of Wiltman’s poetry with lines highlighted.
He believes that Margo has left these cryptic clues for him to find her. With the help of Radar, Ben and his girlfriend Lacey, the four set off on a road trip in search of Margo Roth Spiegelman.
Paper Towns has been adapted into a film starring Nat Wolff and Cara Delevingne. It has a June to August release. Click here for worldwide release dates.
Before reading the novel I was unaware of the term ‘Paper Towns’ and found it interesting to learn about Paper Towns along with the characters and have done more research on the subject since finishing the book.
There are incidents of excessive underage drinking, sex and nudity. These incidents are not glorified but rather a portrayal of teenage life. I would recommend Paper Towns for junior high school age students and older.
Vlogbrothers YouTube Channel (with brother Hank Green)
Source: I purchased a copy of this book.